913
Lectures Watched
Since January 1, 2014
Hundreds of free, self-paced university courses available:
my recommendations here
Peruse my collection of 275
influential people of the past.
View My Class Notes via:
Receive My Class Notes via E-Mail:

VIEW ARCHIVE


Contact Me via E-Mail:
edward [at] tanguay.info
Notes on video lecture:
The Definition of Religion
Choose from these words to fill the blanks below:
theological, practices, philosophes, thinking, striving, ontological, Theravada, physical, harmony, good, normative, agree, importantly, Enlightenment, atheists, soteriological, Taylor, framework, Confucianism, theistic, strategy, cultural, gods, ancient, philosophy, Greek, clarity, Chinese, desirable, empirically, Catholic, definition, secularism, priests
what does it mean to study thought?
it is easier to study thought than practice, especially in                cultures
thought travels better
it's easier to learn from thought rather than particular                    of other cultures
studying ancient                thought
we don't know that much about what people were actually doing in ancient China
we have texts, so we know what people were                 , but not what they were doing
historians see the texts from this culture and era as both                      and religion
they can be seen as both
the distinction between philosophy and religion is itself a product of a                  view
the religion/philosophy distinction emerges in Northern Europe during a particular period in the                           
it's a result of a particular problem that the French                        had
they were trying to formulate an ethic that was free of the                  Church
a rational ethic that wasn't                       
one that wasn't based upon Christianity
so they called themselves philosophers to distinguish themselves from theologians and               
before the Enlightenment
there was little distinction between philosophy and religion
the            thinkers, the Medieval thinkers and certainly the thinkers in China
were simultaneously philosophers and religious thinkers
that in ancient China, anything that would be considered philosophy is also religious thought
one of the odd things about religious studies is we don't            on what we study
there's no universally agreed upon                      of religion
there are opposing definitions of religion but there is not one definition that everyone agrees upon
one definition that is the most useful is the one loosely modeled on that of Charles             
a religion is a coherent                   :
1. of                        claims referring to a world beyond the                  world which cannot be directly experienced and which by its nature is not                        verifiable but requires faith for it to be meaningful
2. of normative rules and advice on what is good and morally                    including how to best live your life and be a good person
3. which advocates a                              strategy, which means a specific process having to do with salvation, and being saved within the terms of the framework
every religion thinks we are not in                with the described framework
postulates some                  for moving from a state where we are not in harmony with this framework to one where we are in harmony with it
all religions give you something to do that is                        related to accomplishing a synthesis in regard to the soteriological framework
the power of Taylor's definition religion is that the ontological claims don't have to be         
this allows us to capture frameworks which operatively fall under the definition of religion but fall out of a                  definition
e.g. captures
certain forms of                          which are not religions in a theistic sense
early                    Buddism
modes of thought that purport to be not religious but if you look at them more closely, that they have many of the same characteristics of religion
Marxism
Libertariansim
global stories about how to live your life and fit into a larger framework, and what we should be doing and                  for
the myth of                     
"although there are still religious people running around, humans for the most part have managed to reach a state of metaphysical                based on scientific evidence and rationality"
this is one of the most pernicious myths about ourselves that could be perpetrated
even                  are at some level religious in the sense of committing to some sort of picture of how the universe is, how it should be, and suggesting some kind of                    structure in order to move from one to the other
this is a basic feature of human cognition and psychology and you can't think your way out of it
what it means to live a          life is going to be intimately tied up with metaphysical commitments

Spelling Corrections:

referingreferring
desireabledesirable
commitingcommitting

Ideas and Concepts:

Putting ancient Chinese philosophy/religion in modern context, via tonight's Ancient Chinese Thought course: "Our modern myth of secularism teaches that although there are still some religious people running around, humans for the most part have managed to reach a state of metaphysical clarity based on scientific evidence and rationality. This is one of the most pernicious myths about ourselves that could be perpetrated. Even atheists are religious in the sense of committing to some sort of ontological framework of how the universe is, how it should be, and suggesting normative rules and guidance for themselves and others in order to move the world from one state to the other, and in so doing giving meaning to our lives. The meaning you attach to your life is ultimately tied up with your metaphysical commitments and comes under the definition of religion. This is a basic feature of human cognition and psychology and you can't think your way out of it."
On the indivisibility between philosophy and religion in Ancient China, via tonight's Ancient Chinese Thought course: "We don't know that much about what people were actually doing in Ancient China. We do, however, have many of their texts, so we know what people were thinking, but when historians analyze texts from this culture and era, some describe this writing as philosophy and others describe it as religion. It is both. In fact, the distinction between philosophy and religion is itself a product of a particular cultural view, the religion/philosophy distinction emerging in Northern Europe during the Enlightenment, a result of a particular problem that the French philosophes had. They were trying to formulate an ethic that was free of the Catholic Church, a rational ethic that wasn't theological, that wasn't based upon Christianity, so they called themselves philosophers to distinguish themselves from theologians and priests. However, before the Enlightenment, there was little distinction between philosophy and religion. The Greek thinkers, the Medieval thinkers and certainly the thinkers in Ancient China did not see it as important or necessary to make a distinction between what is philosophical thinking and what is religious thinking, and so can they can be read simultaneously as philosophers and religious thinkers, and especially as we study the thinking that was being done in Ancient China, anything that one would consider philosophy is also religious thought."
The Definition of Religion
Mind/Body Dualism and Cognitive Control
Deontology, Utilitarianism, and Virtue Ethics
Wu-Wei, Dao, Tien and De
The Shang Dynasty (1554-1045 BC)
The Beginnings of Written Chinese History
Eastern Holistic Thinking and the Paradox of Virtue
The Golden Age of the Western Zhou (1046–771 BCE)
Philosophical and Conceptual Innovations in Zhou Thought
Confucius and the Analects
Confucius: I Transmit, I Do Not Innovate
Confucius' Use of Ritual as a Tool
Confucius' View on Learning vs. The Enlightenment
Confucius and Holistic Education
Confucius and the Art of Self-Cultivation
At Home in Virtue
Non-Coercive Comportment, Virtue, and Charisma of the Zhou
The Transition to Becoming Sincere
The Primitivists in the Analects
Laozi and the Daodejing
Laozi: Stop the Journey and Return Home
Laozi and The Desires of the Eye
Laozi: He Who Speaks Does Not Know
The Concept of Reversion
Laozi on Shutting Down the Prefrontal Cortex
The Guodian Laozi
Mozi and Materialist State Consequentialism
Mozi's Idea of Ideological Unity
Mozi's Doctrine of Impartial Caring
Mozi's Anti-Confucian Chapters
Mozi's Religious Fundamentalism and Organized Activism
The Language Crisis in the Warring States Period